From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article
|• Lord Mayor||Peter Kurz (SPD)|
|• Total||144.96 km2 (55.97 sq mi)|
|Elevation||97 m (318 ft)|
|• Density||2,000/km2 (5,300/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)|
|• Lord Mayor||Peter Kurz (SPD)|
|• Total||144.96 km2 (55.97 sq mi)|
|Elevation||97 m (318 ft)|
|• Density||2,000/km2 (5,300/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)|
Mannheim is located at the confluence of the Rhine and the Neckar in the northwestern corner of Baden-Württemberg. The Rhine separates Mannheim from the city of Ludwigshafen, just to the west of it in Rhineland-Palatinate, and the border of Baden-Württemberg with Hesse is just to the north. Mannheim is downstream along the Neckar from the city of Heidelberg.
Mannheim is unusual among German cities in that its streets and avenues are laid out in a grid pattern, leading to its nickname "die Quadratestadt" ("city of the squares"). The eighteenth century Mannheim Palace, former home of the Prince-elector of the Palatinate, now houses the University of Mannheim.
The civic symbol of Mannheim is der Wasserturm, a water tower just east of the city centre.
Mannheim is the starting and finishing point of the Bertha Benz Memorial Route.
The name of the city was first recorded as Mannenheim in a legal transaction in 766, surviving in a twelfth-century copy in the Codex Laureshamensis from Lorsch Abbey. The name is interpreted as "the home of Manno", a short form of a Germanic name such as Hartmann or Hermann. Mannheim remained a mere village throughout the Middle Ages.
In 1606, Frederick IV, Elector Palatine started building the fortress of Friedrichsburg and the adjacent city centre with its grid of streets and avenues. On January 24, 1607, Frederick IV gave Mannheim the status of a "city", whether it really was one by then or not.
After the rebuilding of Mannheim that began in 1698, the capital of the Electorate of the Palatinate was moved from Heidelberg to Mannheim in 1720. This was when Karl III Philip, Elector Palatine began the construction of the Mannheim Palace and the Jesuit Church. These were completed in the year 1760.
During the eighteenth century, Mannheim was the home of the "Mannheim School" of classical music composers. Mannheim was said to have one of the best court orchestras in Europe under the leadership of the conductor Carlo Grua. The royal court of the Palatinate left Mannheim in 1778, and just over two decades later, Mannheim was removed from the Palatinate and given to the Grand Duchy of Baden (in 1802).
In 1819, Norwich Duff made the following observations about Mannheim:
Mannheim is in the Duchy of Baden and situated at the confluence of the Rhine and Neckar over both of which there is a bridge of boats. This is the third town of this name having been twice burnt. The houses are large, and the streets broad and at right angles to each other, and is one of the most airy clean towns I have seen in Germany. It was formerly fortified, but the fortifications were raised in 1806 and gardens fill their places. There is a large chateau here belonging to the Grand Duke and a very good garden; part of the chateau was destroyed when the town was bombarded and has never since been repaired, the other part is occupied by the Grand Duchess widow of the late Grand Duke who was succeeded by his uncle having left only three daughters. She is the sister of Eugene Beauharnais [sic, in fact, she was his second cousin]. There is a cathedral, a theatre which is considered good, an observatory, a gallery of pictures at the chateau, and some private collections. About two km (one mile) below the town the Russian Army crossed the Rhine in 1813. Population 18,300.
Also in 1819, August von Kotzebue was assassinated in Mannheim.
During the climate crisis of 1816-17, which caused famine and the death of many horses in Mannheim, Karl Drais invented the first bicycle. The Rhine Harbour was established in 1828 and the first Baden railway opened from Mannheim to Heidelberg in 1840. Influenced by the economic rise of the middle class, another golden age of Mannheim gradually began. In the March Revolution of 1848, the city was a centre for political and revolutionary activity. In 1865, Friedrich Engelhorn founded the Badische Anilin- und Soda-Fabrik (Baden Aniline and Soda Factory, BASF) in Mannheim, but the factory was constructed across the Rhine in Ludwigshafen because of Mannheim’s fears of air pollution. From this dye factory BASF, has developed into the largest chemical company in the world. After opening a workshop in Mannheim during 1871 and patenting engines from 1878, in 1886, Karl Benz patented the first motor car. He was born in Mühlburg (now a borough of Karlsruhe).
When World War I broke out in 1914, Mannheim's industrial plants played a key role in Germany's war economy. This contributed to the fact that, on 27 May 1915, Mannheim was the world's first civilian settlement behind the battle lines to be bombed from the air. French aircraft attacked the BASF plants, thereby killing twelve people. The precedent was set for this attack by Germany's repeated air raids against English civilian populations throughout southwestern England during the first half of 1915.
When Germany lost the war in 1918, according to the peace terms, the left bank of the Rhine was occupied by French troops. The French occupation lasted until 1930, and some of Mannheim's most elegant houses were erected for the officers of the French garrison.
After the First World War, the Heinrich Lanz Company built the Bulldog, an advanced tractor, powered by heavy oil. As a result of the invention of the pre-combustion chamber by Prosper L'Orange, Benz & Cie. developed the world's first compact diesel-powered car at its motor works in Mannheim in 1923. In 1922, the Grosskraftwerk Mannheim (Mannheim large power station) was opened. By 1930 the city, along with its sister city of Ludwigshafen, which had developed out of the old Mannheim Rheinschanze, had a population of 385,000.
During the Third Reich, at least 2,262 of Mannheim's Jews were despatched for extermination. Air raids on Mannheim almost completely destroyed the city during the Second World War. Since Mannheim was an important industrial centre for Nazi Germany, Mannheim was heavily damaged during aerial bombing by the R.A.F. and the U.S. Air Force. In addition to bombing the important factories, the R.A.F. razed the city center of Mannheim with nighttime area bombing. Some sources state that the first deliberate "terror bombing" of German civilians by the R.A.F. occurred at Mannheim on December 16, 1940.
The Allied ground advance into Germany reached Mannheim in late March 1945, which was potentially well-defended by German forces, however, these suddenly abandoned the city and the U.S. 44th Infantry Division entered unopposed on 29 March 1945. There has been a large American military presence in the Mannheim area ever since (see United States military installations below).
Rebuilding of the city began laboriously. Mannheim Palace and the water tower (Wasserturm) eventually were rebuilt and the National Theatre was replaced by a new building at a new location. At the old location there is a monument to Friedrich Schiller and the Zum Zwischen-Akt pub. The housing shortage led to the development of many new residential areas.
In 1964, the City Hospital (Städtische Krankenhaus) became part of the Neckar Faculty of Heidelberg University for Clinical Medicine in Mannheim. In 1967, the University of Mannheim was established in the city.
In 1975, the Bundesgartenschau (Federal horticulture show) was celebrated in Luisen and Herzogenried parks. A number of pieces of infrastructure were developed for the show: the telecommunications tower and a second bridge across the Rhine were built, the pedestrian zone was established, the new Rosengarten conference centre was opened and the Aerobus was installed as a temporary transport system.
A number of major projects were completed in the 1980s and 1990s: a planetarium, an extension to the art gallery, the new Reiß Museum, Stadthaus, a new May Market ground, synagogue, mosque, State Museum for Technology and Work, Carl-Benz stadium and the Fahrlach tunnel were opened.
Mannheim has lost many industrial jobs, although in the recent past the city was economically dominated by manufacturing. The city tried in the past to prevent the establishment of service providers by designating some locations as industrial areas. A prime example of the current trend is the construction of the Victoria Tower (Victoria-Turm) in 2001, one of the tallest buildings in the city, on railway land.
In 2007, Mannheim celebrated its 400th anniversary with a series of cultural and other events spread over the whole year. The 400th anniversary proper was in 2006, since Frederick IV, Elector Palatine laid the foundations of the Mannheim citadel, on 17 March 1606. In preparation for the anniversary, some urban activities were implemented, beginning in 2000: the building of the SAP Arena with access to the city’s new eastern ring road, the rehabilitation of the pedestrian zone in Breite Straße, the arsenal and the palace, the complete transformation of the old fair ground and the new Schafweide tram line. The concept of the anniversary of the city aimed at a diverse range of events without a dominant central event.
Some important inventions were made in Mannheim.
Official sign of Bertha Benz Memorial Route, commemorating the world's first long distance journey by automobile from Mannheim to Pforzheim in 1888 104 km (65 mi)
The council has 48 seats and is elected by direct suffrage for five years. In the local elections in Baden-Württemberg, voters are allowed to take advantage of cumulative voting and vote splitting. Since the Second World War the SPD, except in the elections of 1999 and 2004, has received more votes than the CDU. The next municipal election will take place in 2014.
The outcome of the local elections of 7 June 2009 and the current members of the council is as follows:
|City Council 2009|
|Bündnis '90/Die Grünen|
One member each of the SPD and the Left have resigned from their party during the term and have thus become independent members of the council.
The SPD, CDU, Greens, and FDP have official party status.
The mayor is the head of the city council and chairman of the council, being elected by direct suffrage for a term of eight years. The current mayor is Peter Kurz (SPD), who was elected during 2007 with 50.53 percent on a turnout of 36.64 percent in the first round.
The city leaders since 1810 are:
|Climate data for Mannheim, Germany for 1981–2010 (Source: DWD)|
|Record high °C (°F)||16.4|
|Average high °C (°F)||4.7|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||1.8|
|Average low °C (°F)||−1.3|
|Record low °C (°F)||−18.7|
|Precipitation mm (inches)||40.9|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||55.2||85.6||124.0||180.2||214.1||219.1||235.1||222.1||164.1||108.8||59.0||44.9||1,712.2|
|Source: Data derived from Deutscher Wetterdienst|
Mannheim is located in Germany's warmest region, the "Rhine shift". In summer, temperatures sometimes rise up to 35 °C (95 °F) and higher. The highest recorded temperature was 39 °C (102 °F) during the 2003 European heat wave. The daily lows during that time also were very high (around 25 °C). In comparison to other regions of Germany, Mannheim has a higher humidity in summer which causes a higher heat index. Snow is rare, even in the cold months. Precipitation occurs mostly during afternoon thunderstorms during the warmer period (average days of thunderstorms in a year is 40–50). Climate in this area has mild dfferences between highs and lows, and there is adequate rainfall year round. The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Cfb" (Marine West Coast Climate/Oceanic climate).
The successor to the Karl Benz automobile manufacturing companies begun in Mannheim, Daimler AG, has had a large presence in Mannheim. Today, diesel engines and buses are assembled there. The Swiss Hoffmann–La Roche Diagnostic group (formerly known as Boehringer Mannheim) has its division headquarters in Mannheim. Additionally, the city also hosts large factories and offices of ABB, Alstom, BASF (Ludwigshafen), Bilfinger Berger, Bombardier, Fuchs Petrolub AG, John Deere, Siemens, SCA, Südzucker, and other companies.
A number of U.S. Army Europe installations were located in and near Mannheim. The following locations provided services to and housed the "U.S. Army Garrison Mannheim" and other units of the U.S. Army. The U.S. Army Garrison Mannheim was formally deactivated on 31 May 2011.
The following locations were part of the "U.S. Army Garrison Heidelberg" but were within the area of the city of Mannheim; They were vacated in 2010 and 2011:
All personnel of the U.S. Army military community will leave Mannheim by 2015, some of them moving to Wiesbaden. With the exception of four barracks, all other barracks formerly occupied by the U.S. military had been returned to the German state for conversion to civilian use in 2011.
Mannheim Hauptbahnhof (central station) is at the end of the Mannheim-Stuttgart high-speed rail line and is the most important railway junction in the southwest of Germany, served by ICE high-speed train system with connections to Frankfurt am Main / Berlin, Karlsruhe / Basel, and Stuttgart / Munich. A new high speed line to Frankfurt also is planned to relieve the existing Ried Railway (Riedbahn).
Although Frankfurt International Airport is only 65 km (40 mi) to the north, at various times over the years there were daily passenger flights from Mannheim City Airport (IATA code MHG) to London, Dresden, Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, and Saarbrücken. From 1999 until 2011 all aforementioned destinations (with the exception of London) were served exclusively by Cirrus Airlines in cooperation with Lufthansa, with the Berlin route being the last to stop in December of that year. Currently no scheduled commercial airline service is offered from the airport.
The RheinNeckar S-Bahn, established in 2003, connects most of the Rhine-Neckar area including lines into the Palatinate, Odenwald, and southern Hesse. All S-Bahn lines run through Mannheim Hauptbahnhof, except S5. Further S-Bahn stations are at present Mannheim-Rangierbahnhof, Mannheim-Seckenheim, and Mannheim-Friedrichsfeld-Süd.
The metre gauge (1,000 mm/3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) integrated Mannheim/Ludwigshafen tramway network also extends to Heidelberg. It is operated by RNV, a company wholly owned by the three cities mentioned and a couple of municipalities in the Palatinate. RNV is the result of a merger on 1 October 2009 between the region's five former municipal transportation companies. Interurban trams are operated by RNV on a triangular route between Mannheim, Heidelberg, and Weinheim that was originally established by the Upper Rhine Railway Company (Oberrheinische Eisenbahn, OEG), and the company also operates interurban trams between Bad Dürkheim, Ludwigshafen, and Mannheim. In the 1970s a proposal to build a U-Bahn out of the Mannheim and Ludwigshafen tramways was begun, but only small sections were built due to lack of funds. The only underground station in Mannheim is the Haltestelle Dalbergstraße. U-Bahn planning now has stopped. All public transport is offered at uniform prices set by the Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Neckar (Rhine-Neckar transport union, VRN).
There are two nationally renowned football clubs in Mannheim, SV Waldhof Mannheim, who currently are playing in the 4th tier Regionalliga Süd, but who have played in the top tier, the Bundesliga; and VfR Mannheim, winner of the German championship in 1949, now playing in the 5th tier Oberliga Baden-Württemberg.
The city is home to the Mannheim Tornados, the oldest operational baseball and softball club in Germany. The Tornados play in the first division of the Baseball Bundesliga and have won the championship 11 times, more than any other club.
In 2003 the American football club MTG Rhein-Neckar Bandits was founded. The Bandits are playing in the first German Football League which is called GFL1. In the summer about 500 people watch each game.
The WWE visited Mannheim in 2008 and grossed more than half a million dollars with over 6,500 fans attending the event.
UFC fighter Dennis Siver lives and trains in Mannheim.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mannheim.|